Etymology
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sublime (adj.)

1580s, "expressing lofty ideas in an elevated manner," from French sublime (15c.), or directly from Latin sublimis "uplifted, high, borne aloft, lofty, exalted, eminent, distinguished," possibly originally "sloping up to the lintel," from sub "up to" (see sub-) + limen "lintel, threshold, sill" (see limit (n.)). The sublime (n.) "the sublime part of anything, that which is stately or imposing" is from 1670s. For Sublime Porte, former title of the Ottoman government, see Porte.

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sublimity (n.)

early 15c., "loftiness, exaltation, worthiness, nobility, glory," from Latin sublimitatem (nominative sublimitas) "loftiness, exaltation," from sublimis (see sublime).

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sublimation (n.)

late 14c., in alchemy, "process of purifying by vaporizing then allowing to cool," from Medieval Latin sublimationem (nominative sublimatio) "refinement," literally "a lifting up, deliverance," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin sublimare "to raise, elevate," from sublimis "lofty, high, exalted; eminent, distinguished" (see sublime).

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subliminal (adj.)

1873, "below the threshold" (of consciousness or sensation), formed from Latin stem of sublime (Latin limen, genitive liminis) + -al (1)). Apparently a loan-translation of German unter der Schwelle (des Bewusstseins) "beneath the threshold (of consciousness)," from Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), author of a textbook on psychology published in 1824. The scare over subliminal advertising came in 1957. Related: Subliminally.

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*upo 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "under," also "up from under," hence "over."

It forms all or part of: above; assume; Aufklarung; eave; eavesdropper; hyphen; hypo-; hypochondria; hypocrisy; hypotenuse; hypothalamus; hypothesis; hypsi-; hypso-; opal; open; oft; often; resuscitate; somber; souffle; source; soutane; souvenir; sub-; subject; sublime; subpoena; substance; subterfuge; subtle; suburb; succeed; succinct; succor; succubus; succumb; sudden; suffer; sufficient; suffix; suffrage; suggestion; summon; supine; supple; supply; support; suppose; surge; suspect; suspend; sustain; up; up-; Upanishad; uproar; valet; varlet; vassal.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit upa "near, under, up to, on," Greek hypo "under," Latin sub "under, below," Gothic iup, Old Norse, Old English upp "up, upward," Hittite up-zi "rises."

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unearthly (adj.)

1610s, "heavenly, sublime," from un- (1) "not" + earthly. Sense of "ghostly, weird" is attested by 1802. Related: Unearthliness.

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bathos (n.)

"ludicrous anticlimax, a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous," 1727, from Greek bathos "depth," which is related to bathys "deep" (see benthos). The word was introduced in this sense by Pope.

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Mikado (n.)

1727, former title of the emperor of Japan, from mi "honorable" + kado "gate, portal." Similar to Sublime Porte, old title of the Ottoman emperor/government, and Pharaoh, which literally means "great house."

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Porte (n.)

"Ottoman court at Constantinople," c. 1600, from French, in full, la Sublime Porte, literally "the high gate," translation of Arabic al-Bab al-'Ali, "lofty gate," official name of the central office of the Ottoman government (compare Vatican for "the Papacy," White House for "the United States"). Compare also Mikado. The name supposedly is a relic of the ancient custom of holding royal audience in the doorway of a king's palace or tent.

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bombast (n.)

1570s, "cotton padding," corrupted from earlier bombace "raw cotton" (1550s), from Old French bombace "cotton, cotton wadding," from Late Latin bombacem, accusative of bombax "cotton, 'linteorum aut aliae quaevis quisquiliae,' " a corruption and transferred use of Latin bombyx "silk," from Greek bombyx "silk, silkworm" (which also came to mean "cotton" in Medieval Greek), from some oriental word, perhaps related to Iranian pambak (modern panba) or Armenian bambok, perhaps ultimately from a PIE root meaning "to twist, wind."

Also from the same source are Swedish bomull, Danish bomuld "cotton," and, via Turkish forms, Modern Greek mpampaki, Rumanian bumbac, Serbo-Croatian pamuk. German baumwolle "cotton" probably is from the Latin word but altered by folk-etymology to look like "tree wool." Polish bawełna, Lithuanian bovelna are partial translations from German.

From stuffing and padding for clothes or upholstery, meaning extended to "pompous, empty speech" (1580s).

Bombast was originally applied to a stuff of soft, loose texture, once used to swell the garment. Fustian was also a kind of cloth of stiff expansive character. These terms are applied to a high, swelling style of writing, full of extravagant sentiments and expressions. Bathos is a word which has the same application, meaning generally the mock heroic—that "depth" into which one falls who overleaps the sublime; the step which one makes in order to pass from the sublime to the ridiculous. [James de Mille, "Elements of Rhetoric," 1878]
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